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Canine Behavior/Shrieking Dog


Our dog developed this shrieking behavior about 3 years ago and it has steadily gotten worse (very similar to the questioner here: You can be 5ft away from here and she will shriek and jump away sideways as if she was kicked. She could be on the one side of the room and react the same way to a pillow that falls off the couch on the opposite side of the room. Her response is to men, women, and children with differentiation. We have taken her to our vet for X-rays and a full work-up with no physical problems being found. She is very healthy and has a good, balanced diet with plenty of outdoor exercise. Our vets suggestion was to work with her on positive behavior and ignore the un-wanted behavior. At this point, it has been 3 years and the behavior is only getting worse, more frequent, and she is becoming reactive more and more stimuli. What else can we do? Is an anti-depressant something that we should look at with regards to helping to enhance the positive behavior approach? We are at such a loss...

You need a veterinary behaviorist (and quite possibly a veterinary neurologist).  I suggest you find one at one of the following sites or by calling the veterinary college in your geographical area.  This is a professional who can review your dog's veterinary records but has more education and experience in diagnosing cause of aberrant behavior.  The dog might be ill (temporal lobe seizures or other biologic cause) but, if nothing is found, this specialist will know what medication to give her and be able to offer you support in helping the dog.

If this is strictly behavioral, it is far too complex to cure or address in a text box.

Canine Behavior

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.


I have spent my entire professional life rehabilitating the behavior of the domestic dog and I can answer any question regarding any behavior problem in any breed dog. I have answered more than 5,000 QUESTIONS on this site in the past (almost) eight years. If you are a caring, committed owner and need advice, I'm here for you. I am personally acquainted with my colleagues (Turid Rugaas, Ian Dunbar, etc.) who were members of an elite group in EGroups that I founded: K9Shrinks. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES for serious behavioral issues; not only is it unprofessional to offer same, it is also unethical. IF I ASK YOU SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS, I NEED YOU TO INTERACT WITH ME. More information equals more credible answers and a more successful outcome. If you want ANSWERS THAT WORK, participate in any way I request. I'm quite committed to working on this site for YOUR benefit and the benefit of YOUR DOG. Help me in any way you can.


30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, Seminar leader: "Operant Conditioning and Learning"; "Aggression in The Domestic Dog"; "Solving Problem Behaviors" -- conducted for various training facilities on Long Island from 1993 through 2000. Former clinical director of "Behavioral Abnormalities" in conjunction with Mark Beckerman, DVM, Hempstead, New York.

Member, APDT (UK); Psychologists in Ethical Treatment with Animals

Harcourt Brace Learning Direct: "The Business of Dog Training" "The Fail Safe Dog: Brain Training, not Pain Training"

Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Past/Present Clients
Board of Directors: Northeast Dog Rescue Connection; The Dog Project; Sav-A-Dog Foundation; etc. Pro Bono counselor: Little Shelter Humane Society My practice is presently limited to forensics. I diagnose cause of dog bite, based upon testimony before the Court, for attorneys and insurance companies litigating dog bites, including fatal injuries. I also do pro bono work for bona fide rescue organizations, humane societies, et al, regarding such analysis in an effort to obtain release for dogs being held for death in municipal shelters in the US.

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